His speedy exit prompted debate that the Queen may be now trying to distance herself from her once favourite son.
“Andrew is way down the pecking order so if he was stripped of his title it wouldn’t matter,” a royal insider tells New Idea.
The prince’s relationship with convicted sex offender Epstein – who died by suicide earlier this month in a Manhattan jail while facing charges of sex-trafficking minors – has long been an embarrassment for the royal family.
While one of Epstein’s alleged victims has named Andrew in her testimony, Buckingham Palace has strongly denied any wrong doing of the prince stating, “any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue”.
“Andrew was always taking a risk getting involved with Epstein but he ignored advice and now it has come back to haunt him,” says the insider.
“The idea of him appearing in court in the US, even as a witness, would terrify the Queen.”
Meanwhile, Sarah also found herself hightailing it out of Balmoral and reports emerged that she had whisked Andrew away to their favourite Spanish private resort Sotogrande, without their daughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, to no doubt hide Andrew away from the story.
A source told The Sun, “The Duchess insisted she go on holiday with the Duke to look after him and show the world she stands by him” all but confirming their reunion.
This came on the back of revelations that she had been receiving payments from Johnny Hon amid reports the Hong Kong tycoon was “buying influence” in royal circles, which he has since denied.
It’s another blow for the Queen, who eagerly awaits the family get-together.
“Her annual holiday in Scotland is supposed to be a well-deserved rest and one of her best times of the year but she is mortified by Andy and Fergie’s antics,” a royal insider reveals.
“It’s all turned into a nightmare for the Queen.”
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